Skateboarding in the south is not limited to Marseille. In Nîmes, Montpellier and Avignon, the local scenes are also very active. It is with this in mind that Levraipaul carried out the “L’Avignon” project. On the occasion of the release of the video, which we will also have the first to broadcast on the YT channel very soon, we spoke with the videographer so that he could tell us more about his project.
Hi Levraipaul, how are you? Is that your real name Levraipaul?
I’m doing well. They call me Levraipaul or the English Realpaul for kidding. A member of my family called me Levraipaul one day because I was doing a lot of small creations, I don’t know why it struck me. So I kept this nickname for my creative projects.
It is also the name of a brand that I created through skateboarding @Levraipaul. I designed some clothes, tish, boards etc. I distributed some in the shop and through my insta account. But I’m not looking for buzz. Whether it worked or not, I was more interested in the creative vibe and the idea of having a brand to delight my mates than anything else.
How did you come to film this video?
We were all skating together. Often some of us asked to have a trick clipped to them. I was the least crazy of the band so little by little I started filming with a phone. But very quickly, I turned to old-fashioned cameras and especially camcorders. I first got my hands on a small cassette camcorder. I shot my first video like this. After that, I became even more interested in the world of video. In particular, I watched the famous video of Beagle where he gave tips. I then got myself a VX. I loved the render. So I started filming a lot for almost two years non-stop to achieve this project.
Can you introduce the guys who are in the video?
There is Noah Toro who is with Kisses and Lakai. I met him at the skatepark. I filmed it from time to time. One day, I suggested that he go film in the street. He was our guide through Avignon and its surroundings to find spots and who also took advantage of it to return them all. Yet even if at the start, he was not super keen on filming in the city, he got caught up in the game. When we managed to clip a trick, it made him want to film another one, then another, etc. . He realized that what we were filming could lead to something very cool. We also see François Giraudel and Nicolas Fernandez from Circle, Maxime Guignard, Julian, Baptiste Bouton, who is in Grenoble, Noé Balzamo, he wanders quite a bit in France. And Julian Girard. Different generations are represented.
What did you want to convey through the video?
I wanted to highlight the mood of the skaters I told you about above. And then I wanted to show that we were also an active scene in the south.
What is it like to skate Avignon?
The architecture is not very skate-friendly. To skate Avignon and its street you have to be very good because the majority of spots are either very ghetto or very committed. There is no middle ground I think. The architecture is very old like the Palais des Papes and its rail where Noah grinds. The rail is placed close to a wall, the momentum is difficult and then the replate is on a manhole cover.
Are there any videographers, videos that inspire you?
Completely. I love Romain Batard’s way of filming as well as the vibe he puts into his videos. The Baker with their atmospheres, the Sorry also inspired me a lot. More recently, I really liked the edits of Strobeck without fish, Tristan Warren and EC Melodi among others. Beyond these influences, I try to bring my own style.
What were the eases vs the hassles you encountered during the project?
For facilities I would say that I managed quite easily to film well, to manage well to have them in full, to follow them well. In addition, my friends were always motivated to go filming. So it was very easy on that side. The difficulty is what I told you about earlier: the real spots are not necessarily easy to ride. Then we have our Nico -Nicolas Fernandez- who is very good at finding spots that no one would have thought of. He knows Avignon by heart. He can in the middle of the night, go to town to stick edges on curbs which were originally impassable. And also, he has a way of skating, of imagining really innovative tricks, I think.
An anecdote to tell during the filming?
I was very scared once when Noah attempted a front smith on the rail near the Palais des Papes. He had told me about this spot some time ago because Victor Naves had grinded on it. In the idea he wanted to put a 50-50 on it then a smith. We had to go back several times because we were filming during the Avignon festival. In the Palace, a show was going on. Barriers were placed, there were people. The rail was therefore only accessible at certain times of the day.
Either in the morning or in the evening. Then one day, we went there around 8 p.m. He launches into 50-50 and breaks his board. I give him my board. He gets it in in a few tries. He continues with a five-0. At this moment, we say good the smith that should do it. He makes two, three tries, he tackles him but zips on the tackle. And suddenly on a try, as the rail is close to the wall, he blocks his feet, falls and hits his head against the ground. We were very, very scared. If he had fallen harder it could have been much more serious. The next day, he was still knocked out and bruises appeared on his face. He did not want to retest and that is understandable.
Do you have any video projects in the works?
After this one I will continue with a second video shot this time elsewhere. We were thinking of going to Barcelona, Paris, Toulouse among others. Take a ride. And why not a third and see more.